mifiq’s Team Strategy Guide
I wrote this partly to add some substance to my webpage, and also because I have not seen any netrek guides for team strategy, and I wanted to clear some things up. This document is meant for newbies and experienced players alike. Although a lot of it is common sense and some players may disagree with certain opinions of mine, this guide should hopefully contribute to clue. I have been threatening to write a document about LPS for a long time, since many people totally miss the point of it. Much of this is common sense to most, but I have tried to make it interesting such as by talking about how kill scumming can be useful to the team. It is well known to me that many people don’t use any logic and are twinks when it comes to LPS and its purpose.
Comments, suggestions, and arguments are welcome. E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or come to monster.cibola.net and chat with me. I usually play under the name mifiq, -Classified-, or any other name that resembles mifiq. My login would be mifiq, but wincow has forced it to my Win95 login name (jared) for no apparent reason.
There are a couple of things you can do while there is no T-mode and you’re waiting for people to come and play. Of course, there is no guarantee people will ever come, but when you’re bored, you’ll do anything.
If you are all alone and have nothing better to do, carrying armies from the unsafe, outer planets to the home planet can be very rewarding. Not only are the armies easier to defend, but any bomber who orbits the planet will be destroyed much quicker. They defend themselves better. I once stacked 300 armies on a planet, and tried to bomb it. I did not last 5 seconds.
Before the game starts, it is nice to have a few kills so that you can take a planet right away when the game starts. One way to get kills is by picking on Hoser. If you’re fast enough, you may be able to send in the BB torpsucker on a busy server after a geno if you are the first player in and you hit the ‘*’ key fast enough.
Although you can help your team by getting 7+ kills in an AS and taking enemy planets out of T-mode, it is lame. It doesn’t help your stats at all, it just gives your team an edge.
The Game’s Beginning
Bombing is a necessary for a team to win. On a full team, there should be at least 4 AS bombers. Any player who is expendable (has no kills or armies) should jump at the chance to bomb the enemy core planets, since they are often guarded and are the most difficult to bomb. A general rule is that you should always bomb the most dangerous planets if given the chance.
Bombing is crucial, since the team who bombs the other flat first has an army advantage, and can quickly take planets. However, if you are playing a small game, and your enemies cannot get kills, you may get away with bombing for a while, but this is dangerous since clue may arrive on their team at any time.
Watching someone else scum kills off of AS bombers makes me mad, but I eventually tried it, and I discovered how it is an excellent, although dishonorable strategy. Don’t get me wrong, antibombing at the beginning of the game means that your team has one less bomber, and not enough bombers can lead to a loss. Bombers are still very necessary. Don’t even think about antibombing if your team doesn’t have enough bombers.
Anyway, this is how it works. Many AS bombers just cloak and wait to be killed, and others may try to fight, but they should still be easy kills. After a while, not only do you have kills, but you have slowed down your enemy’s bombing, and you are quickly taking planets that have already been bombed by your team’s wonderful AS ships. (You did bomb, didn’t you?) I have personally found this to be successful in many cases, but in others, it has contributed to my team’s loss. There should be no more than one or two antibombers on a team at the beginning of the game, but having them can give a team a multiple planet and army edge.
Bases are good places to keep armies, or are useful for guarding them. Sitting in the core is safest on chaos-like servers, but moving closer to front lines is useful as long as it’s safe.
After the Initial Bombing
Keeping your enemy’s armies limited can be very helpful to a team, since they will slow down the carrying attempts by your enemy. It should be noted, however, that bombing alone is not a good defense, because you cannot always beat the enemy to a popped planet. Bombing can make it easier to spot carriers, and it makes it easier to ogg them since there are fewer of them. There should not be more than two bombers at this point.
To bomb, it is helpful to stay in your enemy’s territory, in a position where you will be able to get to many planets before anyone else in case they pop. Using a SC is useful for a speed advantage, but unless you are a good SC ogger, a stronger ship may be better to attack carriers.
It is essential not to lose your planets, and ogging is one way to stop this. Do not use more ships than necessary when ogging, since it leaves the rest of your planets less protected. Ogging kills is a very good activity for a couple of ships, since it kills all possible carriers, as well as potential carriers. A team that is killflat has a large disadvantage.
Protecting important planets, especially those with armies, accomplishes two things. You keep your team’s armies safe, and you also gather kills so that you can pick and take.
Kill acquisition and taking
Once you get 2.5 kills, start taking.
Agri planets should be taken first. However, if a core agri take is too risky to attempt, then taking another planet may be wiser. Agri’s produce armies very quickly, but even rocks still pop, and sometimes taking a rock is better than a doosh, especially if your team has lots of armies but few kills.
If you are winning the battle, you have all 4 agris, and it looks like an LPS situation may be the case in five minutes or so, take the home planet! It is much easier to take the home planet and other core planets before the team realizes they’re losing and they need to protect their defendable planets.
Sometimes, a clue stack can result in having too many carriers. This can be bad, because there is a high demand for armies, and each ship may have one or two armies, not enough to take a planet. Joint takes work ok for taking undefended planets, but when going for a guarded planet, in most cases it is better to have one carrier and more escorts. If two cloaked carriers are orbiting an enemy planet, one ship’s explosion usually destroys the other.
If there is one person who has amassed 15+ kills, the enemy may get annoyed and try to ogg the person. This person can be used to distract a few enemies while teammates with only 3 kills take planets.
If you’re not in an INL or another other clued type of game, chances are there are twinks on your team. Trust no one to protect your last planets, unless you are sure they’re clued. If there are only solo takers, then there should still be at least two defenders. Never leave an important planet up to one person to defend.
Make sure agri’s are defended. A far away agri is more important than a core rock, but if your enemy is good, and you think that they can take the agri, you should hold your defendable core planets. It is better to keep three non-agris than to have a far away agri that will definitely be lost, but always protect your agris, and be ready to pick them or help out a friendly carrier.
In a LPS situation, bombing can be somewhat useless, but it can slow down the enemy’s carrying efforts, and by being in the enemy’s quadrant, it lets you see ships pick. It is difficult to know who carries when there is no friendly ship in your enemy’s quadrant and you are not shown your enemy’s quadrant on the galaxy map.
Ogging carriers before they come to you can be helpful, since they may not have an escort ready yet. By not giving away many kills and ogging those who have kills, killflat situations tend to occur. This is obviously good, because your planets are safe from taking for a while, allowing for the taking of more planets.
However, it can be very dangerous if someone shouts,
"Get into their space! Nobody has ever one by staying in their own core!"
If people all go out and ogg somebody or bomb, then nobody is left to defend your last planets! It is essential to not let ogging or bombing distract you from defending your planets. If someone says this, they’re a twink, and they’re just going to get genocided.
Once you get some armies, the decision of what planet to take becomes an issue. The best strategy to try is to take the agris until you can no longer take and defend any more. Next, take back defendable core planets, and if you can defend those, start taking any planet keeping in mind fuel and repair planets, and taking enemy planets is generally best, so that you can limit their army production. Before you start taking your enemy’s core, make sure that they are either clueless or that they have few army producing planets. It is not satisfying to take a home planet only to watch it being taken back one minute later.
The whole point of choosing LPS
In a Federation vs. Romulan game, where the feds are winning, way too many people would choose something rediculous as the last planet for the LPS such as Bet or Org. The point of choosing LPS is not to choose the planet that is furthest away from your enemy’s starting position! It is to choose a planet that is away from the home planet to even out the number of ships defending each. If the LPS is the home planet, it can be very difficult to take, since dead ships res right next to the home planet. In the situation mentioned above, if the Romulans still controlled Romulus, Sir, Hyd, or even Dra would likely be a better LPS than Reg, Org, or Bet. Hyd and Sir are far enough away from Rom to make taking rom easier, yet close enough to convince the roms that it is worth defending. Dra is a nasty LPS, but it is slightly easier than Rom, since ships res further from Dra.
By the way, it should go without saying to avoid an agri LPS, however, if your team is good enough, it can be a very good distraction to choose an outer agri as an lps. Many people will recognize the importance of the agri and leave their core to be taken by you, allowing your team to quickly form a large take attempt on the agri before it pops.
In conclusion, choose an LPS that will distract your opponents from the planet you really want to get. Choosing one that is far away is pointless. None or few of your opponents will travel into your space, or to undefendable planets.
After you choose an LPS, it may be wise drop a few armies onto it, so that it does not pop over 4 for a while. So don’t freak out when a person drops on it. Unless they actually take it, of course.
Leaving a fairly undefendable planet neutral can be a good bait for the few, important armies of your enemy. Try leaving an outer rock as neutral. The army loss to your team is negligible, but you may suck in an opponent into wasting an ever-so-important army.
Taking the lps may be very difficult. The ease of the great task depends greatly on the level of clue on both teams. If your enemy is clued at all, an escort or clear is in most cases necessary to take the planet.
Nothing is more consistently effective than a synchronized clear. Try to get as many people as possible in on the clear. Attacking from more than one direction may help. If you are the carrier, be sure to not put yourself in positions where your team will destroy you. Move in when it is safe, but keep close so that you will lose minimal time. LPS takes often come down to tenths of seconds. Be at the target planet, but don't go ahead of your escorts and get killed.
Distracting is an underestemated tool for LPS taking. I have seen many teams fall due to a distraction. If you are not having success with clearing, distracting may be the answer. If there are multiple enemies guarding their planet, and you have only one escort, having him det for you is often useless. Just have him pretend nothing is wrong and quickly try to take the planet. This will not work against closely watching opponents, but it may occasionally fool clue.
This is a guide, not a rulebook. It does not account for every situation. Think about what you are doing. Above all else, please use logic.